Holiday Travel Deals Worth Putting Under the Tree

Author: Family Travel Forum Staff

Tags : Boston, California, Canada, Chicago, Couples, DC, Flee Market, Kids, Maryland, Massachusetts, Multigen, Museums & Culture, New York, New York City, North America, Ohio, Ontario, Philadelphia, Toronto, USA, Virginia, Winter Getaway

Are you one of those people so caught up in world events you didn’t realize (until now) how badly you needed to get away for the holidays? If so, we have a baker’s dozen of last minute holiday, Christmas and New Year's vacations guaranteed to show everyone a good time.


Philadelphia is switching on the lights at 38 Center City hotels that participate in the amazing Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package. Through March 19, 2017, room rates start at $99/night including such perks as free admission and ice skate rentals for two at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, two untimed tickets to The Franklin Institute's newest exhibit “Jurassic World: The Exhibition,” free hotel parking, a $20 gift card for use at any of chef Jose Garces’ 10 yummy restaurants in town, and a $10 credit with the local Uber to get there.


You’ll never forget your stay at The Langham, Boston because you’ll be greeted with a selfie stick and a list of top selfwe-worthy sites and attractions. And because rooms and accents are in blush pink and amenities for babies are so luscious. Add in the Chocolate Elevation kit featuring 25 chocolate treats chosen by The Langham’s famous Chocolate Bar, and your holiday high starts at $239/night.


Cleveland is bringing “A Christmas Story” to life two ways: by producing it live at the Cleveland Play House and by decorating a family suite at the stylish Kimpton Schofield just like Ralphie’s home, a Leg Lamp, Bunny Suite Robes, a Decoder Ring, Lifebuoy Soap and more. Starting rate is $679/night in the Soldiers and Sailors Suite and every Sunday in December there will be free holiday family movies in the lobby, along with hot chocolate, milk and cookies for all guests.


Despite the brisk Virginia weather, the new and "old" villages of Williamsburg – much less crowded than in summer -- go all out decorating for the holidays. The living history museum at Colonial Williamsburg does the same, with pine garlands wrapped around Liberty’s Ice Pavilion, which hosts daily skates through Feb. 21, 2017. Festive music and live performances are scheduled throughout the season. Festive music and live performances are scheduled throughout the season, and fun learning moments are provided by re-enactors who demonstrate the skills needed centuries ago. With six different properties at all price points and luxury levels, there’s lodging to be had, ranging from $99 (two-night minimum with 14-day advance purchase) to more than $449 per night for a double sleeping four, throughout the season.


The Langham, Chicago is in a Mies Van der Rohe landmark building on the riverfront, in the heart of this great and windy city. Winter rates start at $555 for a super modern, beautifully luxurious room plus daily breakfast for four (two adults and two children); four tickets to the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier; as well as a Chicago treat specially chosen by The Langham’s concierge team. 

Also in Chicago, taste the “Dylan’s Candy Bar Standard Package” at the Palomar Hotel, where a double room with a personalized tour of the Dylan’s Candy Bar Store located on Michigan Avenue (including a 1lb. Candy Spree) costs $199/night. Candy themed decorated suites start at $399, and kids drinks and cocktails featuring candy mixins are served free of charge – when Santa rides the elevator -- Fridays through New Year’s.


Nothing tops New York City’s glittering lights, especially on the marquees of the top Broadway hits. At Langham Place, New York, a $785 special rate includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the theater district as well as a $200 credit that can be used to buy tickets to your favorite Broadway show, plus complimentary breakfast and pre-show drinks at Bar Fiori at the hotel’s Ai Fiori restaurant.


How about a quiet getaway to the Merry Old Town Celebration in Old Town Manassas, Virginia? Holiday Inn Express & Suites Manassas has rooms for the December 2nd Christmas Tree Lighting, when free hayrides, ice skating and Santa meet n’ greets are on offer. Rather than discount the already reasonable rates which include hot breakfast, a pool and WiFi, the hotel is offering guests a 1,000 Bonus Points Per Night promotion when using the code: YOUR RATE by IHG® Rewards Club rate. It’s about an hour from Washington DC but luckily feels a world away, and there are many wineries and Civil War history sites to explore.


Another option comfortably far from DC is The Cambria Hotel & Suites Rockville in Maryland. Through March 1, 2017, the “Winter Wonderland” package includes a big suite, skate rental for two in the town square, access to the indoor pool and fitness center, free parking, 20% off in the hotel restaurant, and 20% off all purchases in the hotel snack shop. Basic room rates begin at $87 per night.


Go big and go cold in Toronto, one of 2017’s hottest cities, where a very favorable exchange rate makes already good prices even better. There are Christmas markets, a Santa Claus parade November 29, great foodie scene, and some of the best mall shopping north of the border. Canada’s largest hotel, the very family-friendly Chelsea Hotel, Toronto is ideally situated for those who want to bundle up and ice skate at Nathan Phillips Square, catch the Distillery District Christmas Market (Nov. 19-Dec. 22), or use their keycard loaded with coupons to shop the Eaton Centre. Warm up in their indoor heated pool with waterslide, or park the kids in the supervised camp or teen lounge, so you can enjoy a nice meal or soak in the adults-only skyline view Jacuzzi. Double rooms start at US$165 per night.


Less than an hour from New York City but a world away in tranquility, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester is a great base to enjoy the delights of Westchester County. Book ahead for the Hanneford Holiday Circus, see the gorgeous holiday lights at Kensico Dam Plaza, and take school age and older children to historic Caramoor, which is hosting a Holiday Tea Musicale from December 1-16. At the hotel itself there are seasonal Gingerbread House Decorating classes with the hotel's pastry team, a themed Breakfast with Santa and luxury rooms that begin at $389 per night with a $50 resort credit.


Stay warm instead, by checking out the century-old classic Langham Huntington, Pasadena, where $334 gets you breakfast indoors or out at The Terrace restaurant; popcorn, refreshments and two in-room movies for a relaxing night in; and a map for the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Guests who book the $249/night Adoption Awareness Month Package through Dec. 27 can feel good about the fact that 10% of the proceeds will benefit the Five Acres’ 20,000 by 2020 Campaign.


On the cruise front, every megaship is advertising discounted last minute Christmas – New Year sailings, especially to the Caribbean where concerns about the Zika virus have dampened sales. Instead, consider a more low-key river cruise to Europe, where Christmas markets and a change of scene will make you forget your cares. One of the top companies, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, still has space on two special Danube River departures that guarantee Europe’s old-world atmosphere and charm. Journey from Passau to Budapest, catch Germany’s most famous Christmasmarkt in Nuremberg, and enjoy concerts in two Austrian towns famous for music. Double cabin rates start at $4,999 per person for an 11-day cruise ($5,799 for 13-day cruise over New Year’s); children welcome.

Not enough choice?  Catch more staycation choices in our roundup of the country's top Holiday Lights and Christmas Events.

Catch the best early season snow and mountain resort deals in our roundup of North America's top Fun in the Snow getaways.

Note! This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.